Delhi Couple Quit City Life To Build Eco-Friendly Homestay In Uttarakhand That’ll Last 100 Years

by Sanjana Shenoy
by Sanjana Shenoy 1873

Anil Cherukupalli and his wife, Aditi, quit their busy city life in 2018 to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. The result was a small self-sufficient homestay in Uttarakhand built using traditional architectural practices. Fagunia Farmstay perched 5000 feet high in the lap of Kumaon foothills is both environmentally friendly and earthquake resistant. This stunning 3-storey house offers you panoramic views of the Nainital and Pangot mountains. With a seasonal waterfall just a stone’s throw away, this farm stay will give you a wonderful reason to visit Faguniakhet.

Anil And Aditi Cherukupalli Quit Jobs To Build Sustainable Farmstay In Uttarakhand

With no architecture degree or prior experience in construction, Anil and Aditi researched for months and partner with local masons to turn their yearning for a minimalist lifestyle into a reality. They left their jobs behind in 2018 after they fell in love with a small property in Uttarakhand that had a charming house and a farm. Anil revealed to The Better India that he wanted to create a space for guests to unwind. So, the duo used the existing house to build their farm stay.

Picture Credits: The Better India

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This Farmstay Is Environmentally Friendly & Earthquake Resistant

This 3-storey house, nestled 6 hours away from Delhi was built using stone and wood that kept the property thermally insulated. The ancient Kumaon architectural practices ensured the house is both environmentally friendly, earthquake resistant and can last a century. The best part was that no trees or mountain slopes were cleared to build this home. But it was certainly not easy to build a house without generating a huge carbon footprint. It took two years for the couple to erect this majestic home.

Picture Credits: airbnb.co.in

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Fagunia Farmstay Is Built With Stone & Wood Incorporating Kumaon Architecture

Aditi stated to The Better India that over 70 per cent of the stone and wood used for building the structure was recycled and upcycled from the pre-existing house at the site. Stone and wood reduce the energy used for heating and retain warmth. Their homestay is cosy with interiors made from repurposed furniture like chairs, tables and bookshelf. Fagunia Farmstay has compact rooms that resemble every other Kumaon house. Apart from incorporating sustainable construction practices, Anil Cherukupalli and Aditi also installed solar water heating systems in bathrooms and a solar power backup inverter system.

 

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Solar Energy, Natural Fertilisers, Recycled Furniture & More

Moreover, sewage water of Fagunia Farmstay is converted into natural fertiliser through a twin pit toilet system. While the plastic waste is safely burnt in an enclosed incinerator, the wet waste is transformed into compost. And the natural fertiliser is utilised in growing organic food like brinjals, capsicum, cucumber, ginger, turmeric and other veggies. The couple will also shift to millet farming in the future.

 

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Anil and Aditi admit that they have a long road to becoming 100 per cent self-sufficient with a  zero-waste generating farm stay. But by implementing small steps, they hope to achieve their target soon.

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